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March 31, 2012

Overnight Open Thread

For those of you who haven't had it yet, Earf Hour is/was tonight at 2030 so turn on ALL OF YOUR LIGHTS. All of them. And then go celebrate Human Achievement. Don't worry about your carbon footprint from using all your lights. I have it on good authority that quite a few North Korean families are offsetting our carbon dioxide emissions. It's like Earf Hour there 24/7. BTW, all those eco nuts burning their candles during their hour of no power Actually Contribute To Greater Carbon Dioxide Emissions.

Where Science Grant Money Goes

Example #3,476 of wasted grant money in the name of science. Evidently some French scientists wanted to prove that alcohol influences your self esteem. Well duh! I wonder how much they spent on this. Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beerholder, Scientists Confirm. I guess the one interesting thing to note was that just the belief you had drunk some booze was enough to change your perception. Of course, if you've ever had a non-alcoholic drink like O'Douls you can probably relate to that so not exactly ground breaking research.

Those who believed they had drunk alcohol gave themselves high self-assessments, regardless of whether they had imbibed any booze or not.

And those who had believed they had not drunk any alcohol gave themselves a low assessment, even when there had been a hefty shot of pure alcohol in their drink.

Famous Movie Scenes With Kittehs

Police Action

I'm sure this won't surprise anyone since city budgets across the land are pretty much busted. Email: Troopers Plan Ticket Blitz. Oh I don't think this will go away but they'll be more discreet in how they communicate it. I'm all for enforcing the law but not when it sounds like it is more about competition and revenue versus public safety. I know here in Hampton Roads, the cops are all over the HOV violations. Not so much the speeding and reckless driving going on in the regular lanes.

According to this document, starting tonight at midnight, patrols will be stepped up. The memo from Lt. Anthony Schirillo says in part;

"...we have to issue at least 60 infractions / Misdemeanors each shift for a total of 180 infractions in order to outperform both Troop F and Troop G.

"...One day Troop F issued 301 tickets. Troop G responded by issuing 345 in one day. We can do better...

"I am asking that everyone, myself included, contribute to this effort...

"NOTE if we happen to issue 350 tickets in one day that would be stellar."

WWII Images

This is actually pretty cool. Extraordinary Images Merge Images of European City Streets In War And Peace.

Amateur Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov, 42, collected old pictures of five European cities which suffered the heaviest fighting during World War Two.

He spent 12 months painstakingly travelling to Paris, Leningrad (now St Petersburg), Berlin and Prague to re-create the 'today' shots before mixing the pictures together on a computer.

More photos over at his blog. Thanks to Oregon Is Dumber Than Dirt for the link.


Alright Lego builders, Here's A 56-pound Lego Model Of Battlestar Galactica.

April Fools Day

Don't forget, tomorrow is April Fools Day so be alert for some shenanigans! As a primer, here's 5 Hilarious Fake Scientific Breakthroughs. Some day, AGW will be on this list. Someday.

In 1998, the online edition of Nature pulled what may be the most cerebral April Fools' Day prank in history. In an article discussing the debate over the origin of birds, the writer refers to the discovery of "a near-complete skeleton of a theropod [T. rex-like] dinosaur in North Dakota." Dubbed Smaugia volans, paleontologists believe the dino "could have flown."

The skeleton, including rib and neck bones that showed signs of frequent exposure to fire, was supposedly discovered by Randy Sepulchrave of the Museum of the University of Southern North Dakota.

There is no University of Southern North Dakota. That clue-in is straightforward enough, but the other two are more obscure: First, Smaug was the name of the dragon in JRR Tolkien's “The Hobbit.” Secondly, Sepulchrave was the 76th Earl of Groan in Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan. The earl believed that he was an owl, and leapt to his death from a high tower. He discovered too late that he could not fly.

Obesity Cure?

So, if you were obese and they said they have a cure for your obesity and all it took was an injection, would you take it? OK, what if the injection Involved Fecal Bacteria From Ancient Mummies? Would you still do it then?

It sounds outrageous, but King Tut's stomach bacteria might hold the cure for obesity.

Researchers have recently discovered that modern use of antibiotics has wreaked havoc on the health and content of our gut bacteria. In turn, these changes have altered how our metabolisms work, possibly making us more prone to getting fat.

Now scientists from the University of Oklahoma have proposed an unexpected solution: Why not replenish our gut flora using fecal bacteria from ancient mummies as a guide?

The Goat Locker

Tomorrow is the 119th Birthday of The United States Navy Chief Petty Officer rank. Happy birthday Chiefs (yeah you too NCJ). Once a Chief, always a Chief.

Tonight's ONT brought to you by:

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maet or CDR M. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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